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Palmyra Palm


Botanical Name Borassus flabellifer Linn.
Common NameAsian Palmyra Palm, Taar (Hindi), Paanai (Tamil), Taala (Sanskrit)

Distribution

Hotter parts of India

Religious association

The Palmyra tree is revered by both Hindus and Buddhist, as most of their ancient religious texts are preserved on the palm leaves. On auspicious occasions, knotted young palm leaves or thoranams are used to adorn entrances at home and temples to signify good fortune.

The Paanai tree is the sthalavriksha at the Shiva temple at Tirupannaiyur, Tamil Nadu. The presiding deity here is Soundaryanathar, also known as Taalavaneshwarar. The palm tree is also associated with certain folk deities or guardians. The Panaiveriyamman or Taalavashini is one such deity named and associated with the palm tree.

Uses

The leaf extract checks muscular spasm of the respiratory organs and also heals wounds. The powdered root is used to treat venereal diseases and the milky fluid extracted from the unripe fruit cures muscular contraction of the respiratory system. The pulp of the ripe fruit is an external applicant for skin diseases. The timber is used to make rafters, pillars and posts in building construction. The leaves are used in making fans, umbrellas, baskets, mats and for thatching roofs. The seed with soft gelatinous pulp and little water is eaten during summer. The leaves were used as a writing material in ancient days.

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